Roger Cicala over at LensRentals has just completed optical benchmark testing of the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM. You can read the entire article for detailed information, but the final few sentences sum up his findings quite well:
"This is a remarkable lens. Canon made the widest full-frame rectilinear lens available, and made it with superb image quality throughout the zoom range. Once again, hat's off to Canon's lens designers."B&H has the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM available for preorder.
Tokyo – February 27, 2015 – TOKYO – Today, Nikon Corporation has announced an update to the mobile application for its photo sharing service, Nikon Image Space, featuring a new and improved intuitive design and overall usability improvements. Launched in January 2013, Nikon Image Space is a free photo sharing service designed not only for Nikon digital camera users, but anyone who enjoys capturing still photos or recording videos.
With this update, an improved flat design has been incorporated for iOS (including iPad) and Android apps, optimized for operability in each operating system. In addition to being able to view images in Grid and Map views, a new Flow view has been introduced that displays images larger and enables smooth vertical scrolling when using a smart device, even when scrolling through images stored on a smartphone or tablet. When using on an iPad specifically, a new function is now available for comparing images as well. Overall improved utility and operability, including the ability to background download and upload, cap an impressive upgrade for Nikon Image Space.
Primary Updates to Nikon Image Space
The renewed Nikon Image Space will be available as a free download February 26, 2015 for iOS (including iPads) devices that support iOS 8 or later and Android devices that support Android 4.0 or later.
The wait is almost over...
A second shipment will arrive early next week and will cover roughly the balance of the preorders.
This is a very highly anticipated lens. If it is on your wish list and you haven't preordered, now would be a good time to do so.
From the ZEISS Blog:
Over the course of time ZEISS has published a lot of interesting technical articles about the physical basics of camera lenses. However, after some years not every article can be found that easily. That’s why we decided to publish them all in one blog post to give you easy access.
Relevant Camera and Lens Technical Articles (PDFs)
Check out Bryan's ZEISS lens reviews for more information on these high quality lenses.
The Canon Digital Learning Center has just posted several videos offering walkthroughs of DPP 4 and EOS Utility 3.
Recently Added Quick Start Videos
DPP 4 and EOS Utility 3 is compatible with the following cameras:
SIGMA 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM | Art F/CANON and SIGMA fittings are scheduled to start the shipment towards the middle of March.
SIGMA 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary F/CANON fittings are scheduled to start the shipment towards the middle to end of March.
B&H lists an expected availability date of March 20 for the Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art Lens and 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens for Canon.
My preference between this lens and the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens remains a toss-up. I have had each individually and the two together. I currently own both.
Probably the most notable difference between the 7D II and the 1Ds Mark III is the crop sensor camera's reduced vignetting as a result of utilizing the center-most part of the image circle. Otherwise, image quality is impressively close wide open between the two bodies.
The world awaits the comparison between this lens and the just-announced Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens. This comparison will be a top priority once Sigma's newest "Art" lens lands in our hands.
While trees that are full of leaves are quite attractive, they can block the view of many homes and buildings. As the cold weather sets in and deciduous trees lose their leaves, buildings typically blocked by foliage can be seen in their entirety. Use this time to capture views of buildings otherwise unobtainable when greenery dominates the frame.
Be sure to take advantage of winter breaks and other periods of desolation to avoid distracting elements in your architecture photos. The shot at the top of this post was taken at a local university during the school's winter break. Otherwise, cars and pedestrians would likely been in the frame when photographing the massive library. The shot below was taken on a Sunday morning when all the pictured and surrounding businesses were closed.
If snow is blanketing the ground, then buildings (or various man-made structures) can provide an excellent subject for your imagery. Snow can make rather mundane, uninspiring places look interesting. Take full advantage of freshly fallen snow by setting out early before the blank canvas has been disturbed by those having snowball fights or making snowmen.
And if the frigid conditions make outdoor photography less ideal for you, try photographing architectural interiors in the comfort of climate control. Personally, I like photographing interiors just after sunset so that the cool ambient light outside the windows is prominent.
Wide angle, ultra-wide angle and tilt-shift lenses will be your best bets when photographing architecture. All of the shots in this post (aside from the panorama) were taken with the Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L Tilt-Shift lens and a B+W circular polarizer. The panorama was captured using the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC lens and my 360-degree panoramic setup.
In short, use the winter months to get a fresh, clean look at architecture – inside and out!
From the George Lepp for the Canon Professional Network:
"We’ve had the ability to capture time-lapse images with Canon EOS cameras for some time. What was needed was an interval timer to attach to the camera to fire it at a regulated interval. This interval could be as short as 1 second to as long as days. To do this, you needed to purchase an interval timer (intervolameter) and carry it with you. Canon’s answer for advanced DSLRs is the TC-80N3 Timer/Remote Controller. It has several functions beyond being an interval timer and is usually found in my camera bag. But there have been numerous times that I’ve been out photographing and didn’t have all my tools with me, including the TC-80N3, and I was out of luck when it came to time-lapses.See the entire article on the Canon Professional Network.
The new Canon EOS 7D Mark II has the interval timer built into the camera. Access the 4th Red Menu on the camera’s LCD and follow the procedure below. You will have the option of setting the number of captures from 1 to 99 or set to “Unlimited.” The time between each exposure can be set from 1 second to 99 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds."
There is a reason that Canon is showing this lens mounted to the new Canon EOS 5Ds. This lens has the resolution needed to take advantage of high density sensors.
The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II Lens has just seen a significant price drop – $1,001.10, to be exact. The lens is now $5,647.90 with free expedited shipping.
Latest TTL firmware update further expands extensive list of compatible cameras
February 20, 2015 – LPA Design, manufacturers of PocketWizard Photo Products, the world leader in wireless control of cameras, flash lighting and flash power control with Sekonic light meters, announces today a new update to its ControlTL firmware for both Nikon and Canon versions of its MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 radios. Firmware version 3.800 for Nikon includes compatibility with the recently released D750. Additionally, firmware version 6.800 for Canon now provides TTL compatibility with the Canon 7D Mk II. Any current owner of the ControlTL system can easily install this version via USB and update for free using the PocketWizard Utility. PocketWizard Utility version 1.54 or later is required before installing this update.
“This firmware release makes us compatible with most current Nikon and Canon DSLR cameras. Once we receive our pre-ordered Canon 5DS and 5DS R, our Engineers are geared up to get a firmware update out for these cameras as fast as possible,” said Heather Ambrose, Marketing Director at LPA Design, the company that manufacturers PocketWizard Photo Products.
For more information on how to update PocketWizard products via USB connection and to view current release notes for Nikon firmware update version 3.8 and Canon firmware version 6.8 visit: http://www.pocketwizard.com/support/downloads/
For a complete compatibility list, please visit:
This service provides software for upgrading Nikon 1 AW1 firmware to A:1.10 / B:1.10:
Updates included with this release
Download: Nikon 1 AW1 Firmware A:1.10 / B:1.10
From the Canon Professional Network:
"The EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R represent a new line of ultra high-resolution EOS DSLR cameras – featuring 50.6 Megapixel sensors – that are ideal for photographers who want to capture an extraordinary amount of detail in their images. The new cameras will be popular with those shooting landscape and architectural photography, as well as those shooting commercial or high-end editorial work in the studio. The EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R sit alongside the EOS 5D Mark III in the EOS range, and use new technologies to make the most of both of the cameras’ high-resolution capabilities."Featured Segments
The article also contains two informational videos:
Check out the entire article on the Canon Professional Network.
Canon USA has posted several Quick Tips to its YouTube channel with most being targeted to video shooters. See below for the full list of new additions.
Canon Quick Tips
Adobe Photoshop Turns Twenty-Five – A Cultural Icon, Photoshop Shapes the Way We View the World
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Feb. 19, 2015 — Adobe Photoshop, the imaging software that continues to redefine creativity in the digital age, turns 25 today. Photoshop touches virtually all the inspirational imagery that surrounds us: the high-impact logo on your morning cup of coffee; the new app you download on your iPhone; the sleek design of your running shoes; the Hollywood blockbuster that you’ll see tonight. Photoshop continues to blaze a trail, with amazing new features added in every release and new mobile apps that extend the power of Photoshop to iPhone, iPad and Android devices.
“For 25 years, Photoshop has inspired artists and designers to craft images of stunning beauty and reality-bending creativity,” said Shantanu Narayen, Adobe president and chief executive officer. “From desktop publishing, to fashion photography, movie production, website design, mobile app creation and now 3D Printing, Photoshop continues to redefine industries and creative possibilities. And today that Photoshop magic is available to millions of new users, thanks to Adobe Creative Cloud.”
Photoshop is one of the most recognized software brands in the world with tens of millions of users, and is the go-to application for digital image manipulation across all media: from print, to film, to the Web. Photoshop features — such as Layers, The Healing Brush, Content Aware Fill and Camera Raw — have empowered creatives to produce their best work. Photoshop technology is also at the heart of Adobe Lightroom, essential software for both professional and amateur photographers. And to meet the needs of today's visual artists, Photoshop and Lightroom mobile apps enable creatives to work on image files seamlessly across desktop computers, tablets and smartphones.
Photoshop’s success helped Adobe deliver the creative industry’s most comprehensive set of tools. No other company serves the creative industry with such a wide range of products and services. In addition to Photoshop, applications like Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Dreamweaver and others have pushed creativity forward, no matter what the media. And today Adobe Creative Cloud services, such as Behance and Creative Talent Search, are helping a new generation of creatives find a global audience and market for their work.
The secret of Photoshop’s massive popularity has been its constantly evolving capabilities and an incredible pipeline of deep image science. This pipeline of innovation is now getting to customers faster than ever before, with Photoshop and Lightroom desktop and mobile apps constantly updated, as part of Adobe Creative Cloud.
To celebrate this Photoshop milestone, Adobe is showcasing 25 of the most creative visual artists under 25 who use Photoshop. To be considered, artists upload their projects to Behance and use the tag “Ps25Under25.” In the coming months, those selected will take over the Photoshop Instagram handle (@Photoshop) for two weeks and present their work for the world to see. Fredy Santiago, a 24-year old Mexican-American artist and illustrator based in Ventura, California will be the first to display his incredible images, beginning today.
The company is also launching an advertising campaign, “Dream On," for The Academy Awards — as a tribute to 25 years of amazing art created in Photoshop. The TV commercial includes incredible work from Photoshop artists and iconic images from major motion pictures that used Photoshop in the making, including Avatar, Gone Girl, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Shrek. The spot can be seen here.
Adobe's Photoshop Photography Program is only $9.99 per month (Photoshop CC + Lightroom).
TOKYO, February 18, 2015—Canon Inc. and Canon Marketing Japan Inc. announced today that the Company will support the Games of the XXXII Olympiad and the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) as a Tokyo 2020 Gold Partner in the category of Still Cameras and Desktop Reprographic Hardware which include desktop printers.
Canon has entered an agreement with the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, making the Company a Tokyo 2020 Gold Partner. In this capacity, Canon will contribute to the delivery of the Games of the XXXII Olympiad and the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, which will be held in 2020 in Tokyo, and in addition, will provide support to the Japanese national Olympic and Paralympic teams competing from 2016 to 2020.
Tokyo 2020 Gold Partners are positioned as the highest tier of the Tokyo 2020 domestic Sponsorship Programme. As a sponsor of Tokyo 2020, Canon products and services in the still cameras and desktop reprographic hardware categories, which include desktop printers, will be designated as Official Products of the Games.
Canon will provide behind-the-scenes support to members of the press covering the Games, including camera and lens maintenance services and product loans. Drawing from the Company's experience and know-how cultivated to date, Canon will improve on-site media support for cameras during Tokyo 2020, including on-site camera service and support centers to assist the numerous journalists and sports photographers from various countries and regions across the world.
Canon will continue contributing to the advancement of sports through the use of Canon still cameras and desktop reprographic hardware which include desktop printers.
For more information, check out the original press release.
It was -4° F (-20° C) this morning and the wind was howling. The meteorologist was warning of frostbite occurring to exposed skin within 15 minutes.
I can take cold weather, but wind chills approaching -30° F (-34° C) are getting uncomfortable enough to keep me and a large majority of other photographers indoors. What is the answer for someone wanting to photograph outdoors when weather conditions reach this extreme? Wait until warmer weather arrives or go somewhere that is warm. The latter is of course my preference. Where to go? Closer to the equator, of course. Or, cross the equator to find summer.
One example of a winter photography location is southwest Florida. This location is renowned for its bird photography and the weather here is very comfortable most of the time including the middle of winter. Take you long lens and migrate with the birds.
This Roseate Spoonbill was found at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, Florida in late winter. The spoonbill was standing in place for a long time and I had taken plenty of shots of various standing poses – and insurance shots of the same. I was waiting, looking for a new and hopefully more interesting behavior. A preening session provided just that.
Third Annual CreativeLive Photoshop Week Gathers Renowned Experts on Photoshop and Lightroom to Educate Photographers and Creative Pros …Free!
Seattle, WA – February 17, 2015 – Nearly every photographer and graphic artist relies on Photoshop to help them refine and perfect their creations before presenting them to clients, friends, and family members. CreativeLive, the premier source for online education, is once again bringing together the world’s foremost experts to create Photoshop Week (February 23-28, 2015), a weeklong series of online seminars brought directly to the convenience of your computer, and in the comfort of your studio or home. To register for the live seminars and view a complete class schedule of Photoshop and Lightroom topics, visit CreativeLive.com.
Over the course of six days, CreativeLive will stream 49 live classes presented by the industry’s leading Photoshop experts including Dave Cross, Tim Grey, Jason Hoppe, Mike Kelley, Matt Kloskowski, Julieanne Kost, Jared Platt, Julia Kuzmenko McKim, Aaron Nace, Chris Orwig, Colin Smith, Paul Trani and Ben Willmore. Each 90 minute class provides a detailed look at the hottest topics for a comprehensive learning experience that can be applied to your graphics and photography.
Viewers will also have an opportunity to purchase and download any of the 49 classes to create an on-demand personal library of Photoshop and Lightroom tutorials from the very best in the business. The cost for downloading the entire course curriculum is $299. Individual classes can be downloaded and archived for on-demand viewing for $19 each.
“CreativeLive is the source more than two million photographers have turned to for live online learning,” explains George Varanakis, General Manager of Photo at CreativeLive. “Photoshop Week offers a very comprehensive curriculum presented by the most renowned experts in the industry. While all the classes are available free when airing live, the entire collection of classes are also available for on-demand viewing and critical study.”
From beginner to advanced users, photographers who tune into Photoshop Week will find what they learn to be an invaluable asset to their day-to-day workflow actions. Whether it’s a new feature or technique such as Introduction to 3D in Photoshop or a refresher course on Layer Effects, the viewers will listen and learn from the very best in the business. Visit the CreativeLive website to review the entire schedule of classes and build your personal calendar for Photoshop Week.
Get tips to attract clients and land more wedding gigs
It's hard to believe wedding season is just around the corner! To help you put your best foot forward, we've partnered up with Tamron to put together our latest guide, How to Grow a Wedding Photography Business. Get tips to attract the wedding clients you want, develop a solid pricing plan, and have your clients bubble over with excitement when it comes to your exceptional customer service.
In this guide you’ll also learn:
Plus get insights from 6 seasoned wedding photographers who share their tips to tackle the market and build a successful wedding photography business.
From Canon USA:
The Contest Opens February 25, Inviting Consumers of All Skill Levels to Submit Trailers of Their Everyday Life Moments
NEW YORK, N.Y., February 17, 2015 - Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, announced that actor, Josh Hutcherson, star of The Hunger Games franchise, has partnered with Canon U.S.A. Inc. and Ron Howard for Project Imagination: The Trailer, and for the first time ever, anyone's life moments can become a movie trailer and inspire a Hollywood film. The user-generated experiment invites consumers of all skill levels to create and submit trailers of their everyday life moments, resulting in one winning trailer selected by Ron Howard and Josh Hutcherson, which will ultimately inspire a short film in which Hutcherson will star and produce.
"Josh Hutcherson is going to be a great addition, empowering a whole new generation to pick up a camera and realize they are far more creative than they give themselves credit for in their everyday life moments," said Ron Howard. "I encourage people to really have fun with their storytelling; who knows, the kid's birthday party might end up looking like a horror film or a trailer for a fantastic thriller that could truly captivate us."
"I'm fascinated by filmmaking and recently sat down with Ron Howard to hear about the history of Project Imagination," said Josh Hutcherson. "The creative process truly excites me, as does officially joining the cast of Canon's Project Imagination: The Trailer. I'm really looking forward to starring in a film inspired by user-generated trailer submissions."
Submissions will open on February 25 at imagination.usa.canon.com. Until then, consumers can visit the website and get inspired by watching "The Trailer of Your Life" - a 45-second trailer about the project, leveraging everyday footage from everyday consumers. The site also includes Ron Howard's tips for creating trailers.
Project Imagination: The Trailer marks Ron Howard's third time partnering with Canon, a brand that aligns with his conviction that people's everyday lives are visually and cinematically worth recording.
"We're delighted to continue our great partnership with Ron Howard and welcome Josh Hutcherson to the project," said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO Canon U.S.A.
I wanted to visually see the new Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens beside the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens and the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens. So, I sized the lenses to scale and composited a prime Art lens family photo. You can definitely see the family resemblance.
by Sean Setters
Amanda and I have been dating a little more than a year now. And even though I have a camera in my hand nearly every day, we have relatively few pictures of us together. This Valentine's Day, however, we decided to address that issue.
I've slowly been accumulating a collection of old, 35mm transparent slides for use with my Light Blaster. One recent eBay auction win left me with a set of humorous title slides designed for use with early films. Considering our fondness of hats, one slide in particular seemed well-suited for inclusion in our image.
We used my driveway (with a bordering fence) as the location for our shoot. The chair shown usually occupies a spot in my living room. I chose that specific chair because it was bulky enough to help me conceal the lower part of the light stand that the Light Blaster would be on.
For optimal results, the timing of the shoot proved essential. I needed the ambient light to drop low enough so that the projected image would show up well on the fence. Too much ambient light would make the projected image less distinct. Therefore, we set everything up shortly before sundown and kept shooting as dusk rolled in.
The mainlight consisted of a 580EX Speedlite flash diffused by a 24" Glow Collapsible Softbox positioned just out of the frame to the right. The softbox was chosen because its directionality allowed me to keep light from contaminating the background projection. I used a Lumopro LP180 flash zoomed to 105mm for the rim light which was positioned behind us, camera right. I used another 580EX positioned directly behind the chair with the Light Blaster + Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens attached. This lens provided the perfect size projection while its wide f/1.4 aperture also allowed me to squeeze every bit of illumination out of my flash (wider aperture = brighter projection). I used radio triggers to trigger the flashes and a Canon RC-1 wireless remote to trigger the tripod-mounted 5D Mark III + Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens (f/2.8, 1/160 sec, ISO 320). We positioned ourselves very carefully to conceal the top half of the light stand and flash / Light Blaster.
After a couple of dozen attempts we had the shots we wanted. After a small amount of post processing, we arrived at the image shown above. Amanda was especially happy with the shot, so it was well worth the effort.
And just in case you're curious, the shirt I'm wearing underneath the jacket says "Bokehlicious".
From the FAA:
Regulations will facilitate integration of small UAS into U.S. aviation system
February 15, 2015 – WASHINGTON – The Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration today proposed a framework of regulations (PDF) that would allow routine use of certain small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in today’s aviation system, while maintaining flexibility to accommodate future technological innovations.
The FAA proposal offers safety rules for small UAS (under 55 pounds) conducting non-recreational operations. The rule would limit flights to daylight and visual-line-of-sight operations. It also addresses height restrictions, operator certification, optional use of a visual observer, aircraft registration and marking, and operational limits.
The proposed rule also includes extensive discussion of the possibility of an additional, more flexible framework for “micro” UAS under 4.4 pounds. The FAA is asking the public to comment on this possible classification to determine whether it should include this option as part of a final rule. The FAA is also asking for comment about how the agency can further leverage the UAS test site program and an upcoming UAS Center of Excellence to further spur innovation at “innovation zones.”
The public will be able to comment on the proposed regulation for 60 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register, which can be found at www.regulations.gov. Separate from this proposal, the FAA intends to hold public meetings to discuss innovation and opportunities at the test sites and Center of Excellence. These meetings will be announced in a future Federal Register notice.
“Technology is advancing at an unprecedented pace and this milestone allows federal regulations and the use of our national airspace to evolve to safely accommodate innovation,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
The proposed rule would require an operator to maintain visual line of sight of a small UAS. The rule would allow, but not require, an operator to work with a visual observer who would maintain constant visual contact with the aircraft. The operator would still need to be able to see the UAS with unaided vision (except for glasses). The FAA is asking for comments on whether the rules should permit operations beyond line of sight, and if so, what the appropriate limits should be.
“We have tried to be flexible in writing these rules,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “We want to maintain today’s outstanding level of aviation safety without placing an undue regulatory burden on an emerging industry.”
Under the proposed rule, the person actually flying a small UAS would be an “operator.” An operator would have to be at least 17 years old, pass an aeronautical knowledge test and obtain an FAA UAS operator certificate. To maintain certification, the operator would have to pass the FAA knowledge tests every 24 months. A small UAS operator would not need any further private pilot certifications (i.e., a private pilot license or medical rating).
The new rule also proposes operating limitations designed to minimize risks to other aircraft and people and property on the ground:
The proposed rule maintains the existing prohibition against operating in a careless or reckless manner. It also would bar an operator from allowing any object to be dropped from the UAS.
Operators would be responsible for ensuring an aircraft is safe before flying, but the FAA is not proposing that small UAS comply with current agency airworthiness standards or aircraft certification. For example, an operator would have to perform a preflight inspection that includes checking the communications link between the control station and the UAS. Small UAS with FAA-certificated components also could be subject to agency airworthiness directives.
The new rules would not apply to model aircraft. However, model aircraft operators must continue to satisfy all of the criteria specified in Sec. 336 of Public Law 112-95, including the stipulation that they be operated only for hobby or recreational purposes. Generally speaking, the new rules would not apply to government aircraft operations, because we expect that these government operations will typically continue to actively operate under the Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) process unless the operator opts to comply with and fly under the new small UAS regulations.
In addition to this proposal, earlier today, the White House issued a Presidential Memorandum concerning transparency, accountability, and privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties protections for the Federal Government’s use of UAS in the national airspace system which directs the initiation of a multi-stakeholder engagement process to develop a framework for privacy, accountability, and transparency issues concerning commercial and private UAS use.
The current unmanned aircraft rules remain in place until the FAA implements a final new rule. The FAA encourages new operators to visit:
You can view the FAA’s Small UAS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking later today at:
An overview of the Small UAS rule can be viewed at:http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/rulemaking/media/021515_sUAS_Summary.pdf
You can view the fact sheet at:http://www.faa.gov/news/fact_sheets/news_story.cfm?newsId=18297
Press Conference audio is available here.